The activities of the last couple of days present me with an opportunity to write again. Here I am.
One of my discoveries is how much my family has been spending without my knowledge. Not that my money is being spent without me disbursing it, but money is being spent outside what I provide. While I feel like I provide for the family monthly, the costs of running the home apparently exceed my provision. The additional costs are borne (and incurred) without my knowledge.
How did I discover this? Kids eat!!!
If my daughter wakes up at 5am while I am trying to have closure on the demise of sleep for the day, she will come to my bedside and pat my head consistently while chanting “daddy” till I wake up. Then she will utter the three dreaded words, “bread and tea”.
By the time I hear this the first time, my brain is most likely not alert enough to advise that I should in my best interest, jump up and meet her request. So I stay to relish my sleep a little more.
She would go ahead to mention the words “bread and tea” a few more times. If I do not physically respond in a hurry (responding verbally does not count by the way), her request will advance to “cereal and strawberry milk”.
By this time, my brain could either notify me that the task just got a bit harder because I would have to go further to get warm water, an appropriate bowl from the kitchen, the right colour of spoon, pour the cereal and beverage and mix it all to her satisfaction. Alternatively, my brain could remain restful, reminding me that I haven’t fully rounded off the dream I was enjoying.
My daughter would then give me a deadline to redeem myself by uttering “cereal and strawberry milk” a few more times, about another 10 seconds actually, hoping I would jump and get it made.
At this point again, my fate is determined by my brain. If it tells me to snooze once more, then I am most likely running out of luck because the next gear my daughter will shift into may be less pleasant. “Indomie”. At this point, I always jump up. My brain catches up later. The reason is simple. She will stay on her request till she gets her satisfaction and I am aware that the next level is “Fried rice and chicken. And dodo”. If you have ever lived in Ibadan, you would agree that it’s actually not very easy to buy and fry plantain or season chicken at 5am. The chickens have not even announced morning at that time.
As opposed to many bourgeoisies, I find it painful having to nurse kids who do not understand their father’s need for sleep as superior to their need for food. Okay, maybe I do not understand it too, but it is still painful.
The only other thing more painful than this 5am rigorous routine is that the same child will be back at 8am to sing the melodious hunger song like a cute deprived pet. She will also be back at 9am for a snack, at 9:30am for candy, at 11am because “I want to eat” and at 11:30am for biscuits. 6 meals. All before noon.
I remember my mother fondly! She always had such covered. A slap or two to restore factory settings. I dared not ask for anything to eat before 8:30am and the next edible came at 2pm. No pre-breakfast, snack, post-breakfast, mid-day meal or peckish relief whatsoever.
Now these kids…! I think I should just increase my monthly budget allocation.